SOS - Help Support Our School Farm

Imagine it is a misty morning.  The early morning sunlight casts a soft glow.  A rooster crows his good morning while the chickens are jostling for position at their breakfast.  A family of peacocks is roaming the grounds, getting in a last stretch of their legs before heading back to their nests.  A small herd of goats are munching through some fresh alfalfa.  The rest of the animals, the sheep, the pig, the horse, the turtles, the rabbits, the turkeys, and the pigeons, all join in the morning chorus.  Now imagine this place being your school.

Valley Alternative Magnet School is a small, integrated learning community in the working-class suburb of Van Nuys, California.  We are a Title 1 public school, which means we have high percentages of children from low income families, spanning kindergarten through 12th grade.  It is one of the very few span schools left in the state of California.  We are lucky to have a farm that has been a vital part of our school for 33 years, lovingly tended by our resident farmer and the thousands of children who have come through our doors since the farm was established in 1982.

The farm is more than just a showpiece.  It is an exceptional resource to teach children about an expansive variety of subjects and issues.  Of course, the farm can be used to teach kids about lifecycles, animal care, and horticulture.  We have introduced a curriculum called "My Plate," which will use the farm to teach about nutrition and how farms bring healthy foods to the table.  Additionally, the farm teaches children about sustainable agriculture, which in drought-stricken California is crucial.  We have developed lessons for ecology, with an emphasis on the modern-day "Three R's:" Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.  The farm also teaches children about compassion and empathy.  Furthermore, the farm fosters a sense of pride and ownership in the students.  That sense of civil pride will undoubtedly transfer to the greater community at large.

Now the farm is in jeopardy, and we need your help.

Budget cuts over the last eight years coupled with district policies leave us struggling to fund this unique, important learning lab at our school.    So now, we are turning to the community to ask for help.  It takes a lot to run this special place.  We need food for the animals; supplies such as gardening equipment, seeds; and materials for repair to our aging structures.  Every little bit counts, so please donate. 

Thank you,

Valley Alternative Staff and Students

Donations ()

  • lisseth rivera 
    • $10 
    • 13 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 27 mos
  • Armine Harutyunayn  
    • $50 
    • 38 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $200 
    • 39 mos
  • Keith MacKechnie 
    • $60 
    • 49 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Lori Quider 
Van Nuys, CA
Valley Alternative Magnet School Farm 
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